Reflections and focusing of inertial waves in a tilted librating cube

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


A fluid-filled cube rotating about an axis passing through the midpoints of opposite edges is subjected to small librations (i.e. modulation of the mean rotation). Low viscosity regimes, with Ekman number as small as and equally small relative forcing amplitude, are explored numerically. The full inertial range of forcing frequencies, from 0 to twice the mean rotation rate are considered. The response flows are dominated by inertial wavebeams emitted from edges and/or vertices, depending on the forcing frequency. How these reflect on the cube's walls and focus onto edges and vertices lead to intricate patterns. Most of the results can be reconciled using linear inviscid ray-tracing theory with careful attention to wavebeam emissions and reflections. However, even at the low Ekman number and relative forcing amplitude considered, other effects are discernible which are not captured by ray tracing. These include a symmetry breaking due to viscous effects and a progressive wave, retrograde to the mean rotation and localized in the boundary layers of the cube, due to nonlinear effects and the librational forcing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberA10
Journaljournal of fluid mechanics
StatePublished - Sep 25 2022


  • Rotating flows
  • Waves in rotating fluids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics


Dive into the research topics of 'Reflections and focusing of inertial waves in a tilted librating cube'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this